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mvmws 71 /s the collection of constitutional documents of which the first two volumes were chosen morethanfiftyyears agofortheuseprimarily ofundergraduate students. Sincethere is now a wealth of material available,much of which has been well calendared, in collections in Quebec, Montreal, andOttawa, it isregrettable that more use is not made of it in a work of this character. It is alsounfortunate thattherearesome inaccuracies in quoting the sources used. To givea single instance, onpage121Vaugeois quotes theColonial Secretary ,E. G. Stanley, assaying thatff changes weremadein theCanadian constitution , he,Stanley, wouldbein favour ofrendering it "plus monarchique." What Stanley wrotewasthathe wouldbe in favourof rendering it morelikethatof Britain, andhewasobviously implying thatelective councils andpopular conventions , mentioned in assembly resolutions, pointed in thedirection of republican institutions modelled onthose oftheUnitedStates. In other words, hewasmerely saying that the Britishcolonies should be mademoreBritishratherthanmore American, and in this sentimentthe constitutionalreformers in both Canadian provinces wouldhaveagreed withhim,eventhough theymighthavewished to giveawidermeaning tohiswords thanStanley intended. HELEN TAFT MANNING BrynMawrCollege McGillivray, Lordo•theNorthwest. ByMARjOm• WrLrm•s CAMPBELL. Toronto andVancouver: Clarke, Irwin& Company Limited. 1962.Pp.xiv,337,illus. $6.50. V•ILLIA1V[ 1VICGILLIVRAY CAUGHT 1VIRS. CAMPBELL'S INTEREST whenshewaswriting herwell-known books, TheSaskatchewan andTheNorthWestCompany. She feltthathehadnever received therecognition thatwashisdue,andthisvolume ishertribute tohim.Likeeveryone else whohaswritten a fur-trade biography, shehasbeenfaced withinadequate sources. Although quantities of letters and journals relating tothetrade have survived, with rare exceptions the•' arecuriously impersonal; it seems tohave become second nature tothefurtraaer tokeep hisowncounsel. EvenSirGeorge Simpson, themost voluminous writerof them all,remains anelusive figure, about whose intimate thoughts andpersonality we knowsurprisingly little. The longlist of acknowledgments in the foreword shows howwidelyMrs. Campbell has searched inaneffort tofi,n,.d new material, and many interesting itemscameher way. But gapsremain. Because somanyfacetsof the life of WilliamMcGillivray remain undocumented," shewrites, "it hasbeennecessary to fillin imaginatively certain blanks, vague valleys between theknown peaks." This isfair enough; thedifficulty isthatthebookisbereftofnotes orreferences. Asa result, thereaderisfrequently uncertain whether a specific passage isbased on factor fancy--acircumstance thatdetracts seriously fromtheUsefulness of this attractive volume. Thisisa partisan book; McGillivray isnaturally itshero, andalmost inevitably LordSelkirk ismadethevillainof thepiece.Butsurely thebitterclash between thesetwo wasmerelya surface indication of deepertroubles withinthe North WestCompany. Theverynature oftheCompany made itsoperations exciting but financially hazardous. It hadlearnt byexperience thatthebest waytoovercome competitors was toabsorb them; butinorder toemploy thenewhands profitably 72 THE CANADIAN HISTORICAL REVIEW it wasforcedto expand its operations intonewareas. Thisgave. risein turnto highertransportation costs thatcouldonlybe metby therichreturns thatcame fromstillfurtherexpansion intohitherto unwrapped counh 7. Selkirk's settlers happened to appear onthescene whentheCompany wasextended to thebreaking pointandwhencompetition fromtheHudson's BayCompany (theonecompetitortheNorthWestCompany could notabsorb) wasbecoming moretroublesome andexpensive. Warsbothin EuropeandAmerica addedthefinalstrawby disrnptingbothtransportation andmarkets. The RedRiverSettlement wasneverin fact the dire menacethe Nor'Westersdeclaredit to be, but, unlike the other factors in the situation, it wasconcrete, tangible, andwithinreach.Led asit was successively by two ill-chosen men--MilesMacdonell andRobertSemple--who exasperated theNorWVesters tothepointof frenzy,it offered a readytargetthat could not be resisted. The portraitof McGillivray that emerges fromthebookisnotin all respects clear,but it presents manyinteresting facets of hischaracter. Some of thefur traders led livesthat offered astonishing contrasts; WilliamMcGillivray andhis brother Simon weretwoofthem.On onepagewefindthemtradingwithIndians or controlling a stormy meetingof wintering partners at Fort Williamthrough sheer forceof character; onanother theyareentertaining in luxurious houses in London,filled with fine furnitureand paintings by the old masters. Romney, Lawrence, GilbertStuart, andMartinArcher Shee painted theirportraits. It isinteresting tofindthatMcGillivray tookspecial prideinthewestern explorationscarried outby Mackenzie, Thompson, Fraser, andothers undertheauspices oftheNorthWestCompany. In 1823,whenhereceived a grantof arms fromthe College of Hera]ds, thepointchosen for emphasis in theblazon wasthefactthat these explorations hadbeencarried outwhilehewas"chiefdirector" oftheCompany ,andthatthe"discoveries andtheestablishments founded by thesaidcompany "had added"extensive territories" to.the King'sdominions. Kindredstatementsandclaims arefoundin thepapers of Simon Fraserandsome of theother NorWVesters. In futureeditions a few errors should be corrected. "Returns" and"profits" are con[used on severaloccasions; Dr. JohnMcLoughlinwas not a graduateof Edinburgh University; SirAlexander Mackenzie hadnotyetbeenknighted when he attended McGillivray's wedding in London; andMackenzie's attempt to buy up the stockof the Hudson's Bay Company wasmadein 1808,several years earlier thanthenarrative seems toimply.Asalready noted, scholars willregret the lackof anyindication of thesource ofmanyof thequotations andofirdormation about thelocation ofdocuments cited ordescribed. If thepublishers obiect tofootnotes , a two-page noteonsources wouldgofartomee•thisveryserious deficiency. W. KAYE LAMB Public Archives of Canada Mu•koka and Halibutton, 1615-1875. A Collectionof Documents.Edited with an introduction by FLORENCE B. MURRAY. Toronto: TheChamplain Society...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1710-1093
Print ISSN
0008-3755
Pages
pp. 71-72
Launched on MUSE
2016-04-06
Open Access
No
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